In the wake of the 9/11 attacks there were more than 100 search and rescue dogs who, along with their owners, bravely searched Ground Zero for survivors.
Charlotte Dumas, photographer and animal lover, is honoring 15 of these brave canine heroes in a new portrait series and book entitled “Retrieved” that will be published this week.
Charlotte traveled across nine states to photograph the 9/11 dogs in their twilight years. She talks about the motivation behind her work on her website.
“In my memory, the photographs of these dogs that appeared in the newspapers stayed with me most strongly: a dog being transported in a stokes basket on cables suspended high over the wreckage; another dog intently searching while maneuvering over enormous bend beams; dogs receiving eye drops after and in between shifts.
I can still recall these images clearly. The dogs searched and comforted, they gave consolation to anyone involved. Seeing these pictures, I was also comforted. They somehow emanated a spark of hope amidst this scene of destruction.
I long wondered what had become of these animals. How many of them would still be alive today, so many years after 9/11? Through FEMA, I was able to locate 15 of the dogs that took part in the rescue operations. I visited them and portrayed them in their homes, where they all still live with their handlers across the U.S.”
To preview some of the moving portraits check out the New York Times article.